The Chase star Paul Sinha has vowed to “fight with every breath I have”, after learning he has Parkinson’s disease.
But the 49-year-old comedian appealed to be treated “exactly the same as before” as he made public his diagnosis with the degenerative disorder of the nervous system that commonly affects movement, walking and can cause shaking.
Sinha, best known as Chaser The Sinnerman on the ITV gameshow - announced the news in a blog post in which he admitted he had been, “deeply scared” and admitted the two weeks since his diagnosis had been “really, really tough”.
The stand-up comedian revealed his first symptoms had presented themselves in a “frozen right shoulder” in 2017 and a right-sided limp which had become increasingly worse.
He wrote: “On the evening of Thursday May 30th, an experienced consultant neurologist calmly informed me that I had Parkinson’s disease. It was a devastating denouement to a medical odyssey that began in September 2017 with a sudden-onset, frozen right shoulder, and took in an unexpected diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle transformation that enabled me to lose two stone, and a shoulder operation in January this year.”
Sinha went on: “I spent May this year in New Zealand simultaneously having the comedy month of my life, and worrying about why a right-sided limp was now getting worse. Behind the facade of the cheerful, late night comedy festival drunk was a man deeply scared about facing the truth when back in the UK.”
But the TV star conveyed an extremely positive attitude to his treatment plan, and joked he may not be able to participate as a celebrity contestant on Dancing On Ice.
He said: “In the time since my Parkinson’s started I have been ludicrously busy, and fully intend to keep Chasing, keep writing and performing comedy, keep quizzing and keep being hopeless at Tasks. Dancing on Ice is, I suspect, out of the question.
“A lot of people have asked ‘What can I do to help ?’ The answer is to treat me exactly the same as before.”
Last month BBC news reporter Rory Cellan-Jones, 61, revealed he had been diagnosed with the condition after viewers commented they had noticed him shaking on screen.
Comedian Sir Billy Connolly, 76, has also publicly discussed his Parkinson’s diagnosis, which came after a fan noticed him walking strangely through an Australian hotel.
Back To The Future star Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson's disease when he was just 29.